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Theft, Shoplifting, and Other Theft Crimes Explained

May 29, 2019

Theft, Shoplifting, and Other Theft Crimes Explained

While many people have an idea in mind about what a theft crime is, the truth is that “theft” is actually an umbrella term that applies to a number of methods a person may use to steal property from someone. This can range from shoplifting to grand theft, or even embezzlement. Keep reading to learn about the different types of theft and consider a few examples of them.


Also referred to as petty theft, shoplifting involves taking property from a business. If it is worth more than $950 then it can be charged as grand theft but if it is less than this, it is likely to be charged as petty theft. If the property is worth less than $50, the police officer has an option of simply issuing a citation and charging a fine.

The Difference Between Theft, Embezzlement, and Fraud

The general definition of theft is taking someone’s property without their permission. There are two other main types: Embezzlement and fraud. Embezzlement involves an employee or other representative of a business or entity diverting money or property that was intended for their employer and putting it to personal use.

Fraud refers to a person tricking a victim into agreeing to hand over money or property. Keep reading to get a few examples of these types of theft.

Example 1: Taking Property without Permission is Not Always Theft

We have discussed theft as taking property without someone’s permission but there is another big element that must be present: The intent to deprive a person of property. For example, if a person sees a car parked on the street and the keys are in the car, if the person drove the car around the block and then left it near where it initially was, they would not likely be guilty of car theft.

This does not mean that the joyrider is not guilty of any crime but since there seems to be no evidence that she was attempting to deprive the owner of the vehicle permanently, there is no intent to commit theft.

Example 2: A Case of Embezzlement

It is common for people to think of embezzlement as something completed only by high-power business executives but that is not the case. Consider the case in which a teenager works at an ice cream shop. They begin to pocket some of the cash funds they have instead of ringing up the sale. This would be a case of embezzlement. This is a case of embezzlement even if the teen feels guilty and returns the money.

Let an Attorney Help You Fight Theft Charges

You are not in this alone and you do not have to fight it alone. Contact Chambers Law Firm at 855-397-0210 now if you are in need of a free legal consultation. We are standing by to help you make the best decisions on how to move forward.

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